JACKSONVILLE - Sergeant Major Gregory W. Embrey, 75, of Jacksonville, died Monday, January 10, 2022 in Jacksonville, NC. Graveside funeral services, with full military honors, will be held at Arlington National Cemetery.
He was born on March 9, 1946 in Washington, DC and was preceded in death by his parents, Earl Embrey and Ora Jenkins Embrey.
Sergeant Major Embrey is survived by his wife, Linda Embrey of Jacksonville, NC; his daughter, Teresa Donald (Husband Kevin); his son, Paul Embrey (wife, Johanne); his grandchildren, Hope Call (husband, Matthew), Jasmyn Downs, Katie Downs, Jacob Downs; great-grandchildren, Layla Dawn Call, Jonny Call and preceded in death by his daughter, and their mother/grandmother, Dawn Downs.
Sergeant Major Embrey enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on 24 June 1964 at the age of 18 and graduated from Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC in August 1964.He was assigned as an 0300 Basic Infantryman and sent to Infantry Training School at Camp Geiger, NC.
Upon completion of Basic Training, Private Embrey was ordered to Sea School, Portsmouth, VA where he was promoted on 1 December 1965 to Private First Class. Following Graduation, he was assigned to the USS Huntley AS-31 (Nuclear Submarine-tender) Holy Loch, Scotland. At the end of 1965, Lance Corporal Embrey transferred to Marine Barracks, Charleston, SC awaiting orders to the USS Canopus AS-34 (Nuclear Submarine-tender) to participate in the Commissioning and Shakedown Cruise.
In 1965 Lance Corporal Embrey traveled to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and further to Rota, Spain for duty aboard the USS Canopus AS-34. Corporal Embrey was transferred to MP Company, 2nd Marine Division in January of 1967 for duty and later reassigned to Marine Barracks, London, England for duty.
In 1968 Sergeant Embrey was ordered to 2d Battalion, 28th Marines, 5th Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, CA for training and preparation for Combat Duty in the Republic of Vietnam.
In February 1969, Sergeant Embrey joined the 2d Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 3d Marine Division in the Northern I Corps, Republic of Vietnam for Combat Duty against North Vietnamese Forces. After a successful of duty, Sergeant Embrey was ordered to the Correctional Facility, Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, NC for duty and was promoted to Staff Sergeant.
In January 1972, Staff Sergeant Embrey changed his primary MOS from 0369 Infantry Platoon Sergeant to 0491 Logistics Chief and assumed the duties as S-4 Chief, 8th Engineer Battalion, 2d Force Service Support Regiment, Camp Lejeune, NC.
In 1972, Staff Sergeant Embrey was assigned to Headquarters, 32nd Marine Amphibious Unit as the S-4 Chief and made a Mediterranean Cruise. Upon completion of that cruise, he was assigned as the S-4 Chief 8th Communications Battalion, 2d Force Service Support Group, Camp Lejeune, NC.
In June 1973 he was ordered to Recruiter School, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, CA and further assigned to Recruiting Sub Station, Lowell, MA, Recruiting Station Boston, MA, 1st Marine Corps District for duty as a Marine Corps Recruiter.
Upon successful tour of Recruiting Duty in June 1977, Gunnery Sergeant Embrey was assigned to 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Aircraft Group 36, Futenma, Okinawa, Japan as the MAG-36, S-4 Chief.
Gunnery Sergeant Embrey in June 1978 was assigned to Drill Instructor Duty, Parris Island, SC. Upon Completion of Drill Instructor School, he was assigned to “F” Company, 2d Battalion for duty as a Drill Instructor and further as a Series Gunnery Sergeant. During the last year at Parris Island Gunnery Sergeant Embrey distinguished himself as a rifle and pistol shooter and was assigned to the Parris Island Rifle and Pistol Team. Upon completion of the matches, he was assigned as the S-3 Chief for 2d Recruit Training Battalion.
In 1979 Gunnery Sergeant Embrey was selected and promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant.
In 1980 he requested and was re-designed to the rank of First Sergeant and was assigned as the First Sergeant of Headquarters and Service Company, 2d Landing Support Battalion, 2d Force Service Support Group, Camp Lejeune, NC for duty.
First Sergeant Embrey was further assigned as the First Sergeant of Marine Service Support Group 24, 24th Marine Amphibious Unit in June of 1982 and landed in Beirut, Lebanon to join the Multi-National Peace Keeping Force. Upon returning to the Unites States, First Sergeant Embrey was assigned as the First Sergeant Marine Barracks, Fort Lee, VA for duty.
First Sergeant Embrey was promoted to Sergeant Major in February 1985 and was assigned as the Sergeant Major, Marine Air Base Squadron 15, Marine Aircraft Group 15, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Iwakuni, Japan for duty. The Sergeant Major was next assigned as the “First” Sergeant Major of 2d Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Intelligence Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic, Camp Lejeune, NC from December 1988 until September 1990.
From September 1990 thru September 1991, Sergeant Major Embrey was assigned as the Sergeant Major of Marine Air Ground Task Force 4-90, 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade during operations in the Republic of the Philippines. From October 1991 thru June 1992 Sergeant Major was Sergeant Major of Brigade Service Support Group-4, 2d Force Service Support Group, Camp Lejeune, NC which participated in cold weather training in Norway, Alpine Warrior 1992. Sergeant Major Embrey’s last tour of duty upon retirement was as the Sergeant Major of Headquarters and Service Battalion, 2d Force Service Support Group, Fleet Marine Force Atlantic, Camp Lejeune, NC.
Sergeant Major Embrey Retired on 24 June 1994 with 30 years of service to the United States Marine Corps.
GOD, COUNTRY, and CORPS
Sergeant Major Embrey’s awards included the Meritorious Service Medal with 2 Bronze Stars, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Navy Unit Commendation, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Commendation Civil Action Color, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon, Humanitarian Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.